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Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper

Celebrating 75 Years of Blue Note Records (rehearsal & performance) featuring:
Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland,
Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott
@ the Royal Festival Hall
22 November 2014

Click an image to enlarge.

Ambrose Akinmusire biography

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward atmospheric post-bop. Born in Oakland, California, Akinmusire showed early promise by his teens and gigged professionally while also playing in the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. Early encounters with such luminaries as saxophonists Joe Henderson and Steve Coleman pushed Akinmusire to focus a keen eye on his own development. He earned his bachelor's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and later his master's from the University of Southern California. Along the way, Akinmusire studied with such trumpet luminaries as master teacher Laurie Frink, Lew Soloff, and Terence Blanchard. Akinmusire has appeared as a sideman on many albums, including works by saxophonist Coleman, pianists Aaron Parks and Vijay Iyer, trombonist Josh Roseman, bassist Esperanza Spalding, and others. In 2007 Akinmusire won the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Marcus Strickland biography

Born in 1979, jazz saxophonist Marcus Strickland is a charter member of the 21st century jazz vanguard. Similar to the torrent of artists that appeared on the jazz landscape in the early ‘80s to pull jazz out of the grasp of the Fusion Era, Strickland, his identical twin brother E.J. Strickland (drummer), and artists such as Jeremy Pelt and Robert Glasper breathed new life into jazz early in the new millennium.

During a five-year stint with venerable drummer Roy Haynes, Strickland released two albums on the Fresh Sound New Talent label. “At Last” was released in 2001, followed by “Brotherhood” in 2003. Both albums featured precocious peers (Pelt, Glasper, bassist Brandon Owens) playing a lyrical, fiery, contemporary jazz. For the next three years, Strickland toured with artists such as Jeff” “Tain” Watts and Haynes and Dave Douglass, while also holding down dates with his own band. In 2006, he independently released “Twi-Life,” an adventurous double-album on his own label, Strick Muzik. The album received much critical praise and proclaimed him “Best New Artist” in the JazzTimes Readers’ Poll. In 2007, the Twi-Life Group released a live album entitled “Open Reel Deck” on Strick Muzik. The album featured Lage Lund on guitar, Carlos Henderson on electric bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums, as well as trumpeter Keyon Harrold, the hip-hop-tinged “poetry of Malachi,” and one track with pianist Jon Cowherd. The album displayed the curious side of Strickland’s compositional skills through funk, hip-hop, Afro-beat, rock, ska, and jungle grooves. Strickland was voted “Rising Star, Soprano Saxophone” in Downbeat Magazine’s 2008 Critic’s Poll. He released two albums in 2009 - “Of Song” on the Criss Cross label and “Idiosyncrasies” on his label under the new name of SMK. Throughout his career, Strickland has worked with a variety of artists, including Mos Def, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, and the Charles Tolliver Big Band, Tom Harrell, among others.

Kendrick Scott biography

In the relatively short span of ten years, drummer and composer Kendrick Scott has established himself as an artist of great versatility and depth. Having toured and recorded with such luminaries as Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, the Crusaders and others, he has proven his ability to adapt his style to virtually any occasion or circumstance, and at the same time maintain his own distinctive voice in the process.

In addition to his work as a support figure, he has also developed a reputation as an innovative composer and bandleader, with the help of his ever-evolving musical collective. The Kendrick Scott Oracle began their creative odyssey in 2007 with an eclectic and ambitious debut recording called The Source, and followed up on its success with Conviction, an album set for release on Concord Jazz in March 2013.

Born in July 1980, Scott grew up in Houston, Texas in a family of musicians whose eclectic interests ran to gospel, classical and R&B. His earliest musical experiences were in his church, where his parents and older brother were involved in the music ministry. “I remember sitting in a pew in church when I was very young, and I remember feeling a chill in my body during one of the songs. I thought, ‘What is this feeling?’ I had to know what it was and what was causing it. I had to be a part of it. I knew even then that the source of that feeling was something that I wanted to pursue.”

By age 8, Scott’s parents set him up with some sticks, pads and drum lessons. The combination of innate talent, discipline and support from his parents earned him a seat in Houston’s renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts - a school whose roster of prestigious alums also includes Robert Glasper, Chris Dave, Mike Moreno, Jason Moran, Eric Harland, Beyoncé, and many others.

“I was naïve enough to never really have any doubt about playing music as a career,” Scott says of his high school years. “I never really thought about the possibility that it couldn’t be done. It was a blessing to just be a part of that environment, where I saw so many guys - like Eric Harland, who was four years older than me – doing great things. When you’re in an environment like that, the extraordinary becomes the ordinary.”

Before finishing high school, Scott won a number of Downbeat Magazine student awards, as well as the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Award from the International Association of Jazz Educators and the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He was later awarded a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, where he majored in music education.

In addition to long hours of instruction and practice, the Berklee years also presented Scott with the opportunity to establish relationships with prominent artists like Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, the Crusaders and others. After he graduated in 2003, he had offers to tour first with the Crusaders, and later with Terence Blanchard. He has played with Blanchard for most of the ten years since.

“Kendrick is a true artist of the highest order,” says Blanchard. “He is not bound by the conventional wisdom of the music world. I’ve noticed that he never says why, but rather why not. He is exactly what the music world needs: someone with the vision and courage to press forward and expand the world of music. I am blessed to have him around and I look forward to seeing what he does every time we play.”

Scott is committed to keeping his artistic vision fresh and new. “Making a piece of art should never have a sense of finality to it,” he says. “When I make a record, I listen to it and I always think about rewriting some part or some section. Sometimes I think that when we play it on the road, it will sound so different to people that they might not even recognise it. It’s that constant state of evolution that I’m hoping to achieve.”

Ambrose Akinmusire & Marcus Strickland

Marcus Strickland & Robert Glasper Ambrose Akinmusire & Marcus Strickland

Marcus Strickland

Marcus Strickland Marcus Strickland &  Ambrose Akinmusire

Kendrick Scott

Marcus Strickland Marcus Strickland & Kendrick Scott

Kendrick Scott

Kendrick Scott Kendrick Scott

Kendrick Scott

Kendrick Scott Kendrick Scott

Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott

Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott

Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott

Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge & Kendrick Scott

 

Robert Glasper

Robert Glasper

Lionel Loueke

Lionel Loueke

Lionel Loueke

Lionel Loueke

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire

Ambrose Akinmusire


Recommended
Listening

 

Robert Glasper - Canvas Lionel Louke - Karibu Ambrose Akinmusire - the imagined savior is far easier to paint Marcus Stickland - at Last
Derrick Hodge - Live Today Kendrick Scott - Conviction

 

Further
Recommended
Viewing

Click the images below to view more photographs & read individual biographies...

Robert Glasper & Robert Glasper Trio (click to go to this page) Lionel Loueke Trio 'GAÏA'  (click to go to this page) Ambrose Akinmusire with Michel Portal (click to go to this page) Derrick Hodge @ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2014 (click to go to his page)

Go back to the London Jazz Festival 2014 home page.

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